Walden Shrugs | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.

The Source Weekly has been here for you, keeping you in the know throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve delivered important updates and dispatches from a summer of racial unrest.

We’ve interviewed dozens of state and local political candidates to help you make an informed decision during election season.

And we’ve brought you 22 years of important news and feature reporting—along with all the events, happenings, food, drink and outdoors coverage you’ve come to know and love. We’re a newspaper for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians, and it is and always has been free for readers.

If you appreciate our coverage, we invite you to spread the love and to join our growing membership program, Source Insider.
Support Us Here

Opinion » Editorial

Walden Shrugs

For implicitly endorsing the brutal and destructive philosophy underlying Paul Ryan's plan, Greg Walden gets THE BOOT.


Last week saw the premiere of a movie based on Atlas Shrugged, the hernia-inducing monster of a novel by Ayn Rand. The unanimous consensus of critics was that it bombed.

Also last week, House Republicans - including the 2nd District's Greg Walden - premiered a turkey of their own: a plan aimed at trimming the federal deficit by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years. Its twin pillars are (a) if you're rich the government will make you richer, and (b) if you're not rich the government will throw you under the bus.

The plan is the handiwork of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan is a self-professed avid admirer of Ayn Rand and her crackpot philosophy, and his plan shows it.

In The World According to Rand, only the rich and successful have any real value to society. They provide all the brains, talent and creativity to make things work; everybody else is more or less a parasite, a "moocher" or a "looter" sponging off the energy and ability of his betters. Since the rich and successful are the only worthwhile members of society, they deserve the rewards - not just more of the rewards, but all of the rewards.

Thus Ryan's plan proposes to reduce the deficit by, among other things, permanently continuing George W. Bush's tax cuts for billionaires and reducing the top corporate and individual income tax rates to 25% from 35%. (Considering how well trickle-down tax policy worked under Bush, what we clearly need is a much bigger trickle.)

For the looters and moochers (that's you and me) Ryan prescribes harsher medicine. He wants to "reform" (read: "kill") Medicare by turning it into a voucher program in which seniors will get limited subsidies to buy private health insurance. (Considering what a great job the private sector already is doing at providing affordable coverage for Americans under 65, this idea looks like a real winner.) He also wants to make Medicaid a block grant program, meaning states would get a limited annual amount of federal funds and would have to trim health care for low-income residents accordingly.

Initial indications are the "looters" and "moochers" are not eager to embrace Ryan's Randian vision of Utopia. Early polls show more than 70% of Americans strongly oppose the Medicare proposal, in particular. And with Democrats in control of the Senate and White House, the Ryan plan has about as much chance of becoming law as the Atlas Shrugged movie has of copping next year's Best Picture Oscar.

Still, by voting for Ryan's plan - and implicitly endorsing the brutal and destructive philosophy underlying it - Greg Walden and the rest of the House Republicans have given the finger to hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans.

It's not going to make a damn bit of difference what we say about Greg Walden. The Republican Party could get a blue-assed baboon elected in the 2nd District - and someday probably will. But for our own personal gratification, and as a gesture on behalf of the rational and compassionate voters in his district, we're giving him THE BOOT anyway.

About The Author

Speaking of The Boot

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Add a comment

More by Source Weekly